@lewisoflime @metant3Thank you for choosing such a great topic and giving us an awesome show! Please note that the winner will be determined based on the best out of 5 votes i.e. community + 4 judges. Your confirmed judges so far: @ninadabit @edie_weinhardt
Starting with the beginning of this debate, I liked the use of the lives framework that both debaters agreed to. I would have liked to see a little bit more burden analysis in terms of what each side has to prove. Do you need to prove 100% success/failure rate of preemptive warfare, success/failure in a majority of cases, a 1% risk of lives being lost, etc.? Knowing this makes the debate easier to evaluate and provides a solid frame for both sides to characterize their arguments.Pro seems to be a little bit more prepared in terms of examples and developing arguments as the debate goes on. However, while Con’s case is centered around one main argument, I’m not sure how well Pro’s case counteracts that argument under the lives framework, and that is the idea that Con is the only side where war has a chance of not happening. Con was correct to say that Pro mischaracterized this argument by saying that Con advocates for doing nothing. Con provides alternative plans of action, such as focusing on bolstering military defense in the event of a real attack, and pursuing diplomatic solutions. Pro says first strike provides a strategic advantage, but Con was right to point out how, realistically, it is not a big enough advantage to change the course of the war in the big picture, and even if it is, that still guarantees war. I also don’t see a real response to diplomacy, which makes that easy to buy as a possible solution for when a country has reason to believe they are being threatened.Pro has a potential path to victory with this idea of setting a precedent that will prevent countries from aggression because they fear first strike against them, and I do think Con should have done more work to defeat this argument. However, I need more of a warrant for why this idea is so widely accepted, or will become so widely accepted, that it prevents the majority of wars. I still think defense and diplomacy are better solutions to save lives, therefore I vote Con.
@matthewhidalgo Totally agree with you man :) Michael was excellent this round and truly outperformed me. Thanks for your time and your judgment.
@metant3 Congratulations for winning your first QallOut tournament and earning your Gold badge :-) Very well deserved and such a privilege to have you in our community!:first_place:@lewisoflime Another great tournament and performance, congratulations for reaching the second place!
Israel only illegally occupied half of Jerusalem until it reclaimed... I mean saved itself by stealing the other half in a "preemptive attack" that includes attacking the US and verified claims of possibly deploying nuclear weapons if didnt go well. I challenge @lewisoflime.
https://www.qallout.com/debate/3937-israels-1967-strike-was-not-justified/record@lewisoflime I look forward.
I love both of you beautiful souls
@caleb_jurkonis1 woah a wild Jurkonis appeared
This was absolutely excellent.
That was fantastic, really close!
I am voting Pro, and I think it is a no-brainer. Let's frame the question like this: You have reliable information that there are a group of men looking to wipe your entire family off the face of the earth (now we are obviously talking about an instance where it is known that this group wants to wipe you off the face of the earth, they have shown explicitly that that is their intent, they have done such things in the past, and shown that they are more than capable). Now, you don't have the power to take out this evil group. However, due to the fact that you received this heads up you can take them out prior to them launching their attack which would result in your entire family being wiped out. Do you think it would be justified to preemptively to take them out? I think yes.
@mosheweissman That isn't warfare. And it's also a hypothetical that doesn't have any serious real world analogies in international politics.
@sigfried do you agree with me in my scenario that it is justified?
@mosheweissman Yes, were i in that situation, I would destroy this group.
@sigfried what would be your rationale?
@mosheweissman The lives of me and my family outweigh the lives of anyone seeking to kill them.
@sigfried would it be safe to say that from the perspective of government, whose duty it is to protect 'it's citizens' that the lives of those citizens outweigh those which aren't? (I am not talking about intrinsic worth).
@mosheweissman Yes, however. When you start a war, you don't just kill the other country and end the threat forever. Instead, you attack, they attack back and you fight until one of the two surrenders or is utterly destroyed. That means your citizens are guaranteed to get killed. So if we were to make your scenario more like war. You would gather your family, arm yourselves and start a fight with the other group. Likely some of you will die, but more of them may die than you because you give yourselves a small advantage of surprise. If that were the scenario, I would not attack, I would prepare a smart defense and use that as an advantage instead, perhaps scaring away the other group and having no one die.
@sigfried Say the scenario is, that your best intel tells you that an attack is imminent from this group of guys, and striking first would be your only chance of survival. Attacking first may result in some family casualties, however a defensive strategy would most certainly result in a total annihilation of your family. What would you do?
@mosheweissman For the record, I think this scenario is deeply contrived.Also, how good is my best intel? Did I intercept a radio message from them detailing their attack plans, or did I just see a lot of activity over at their house that strikes me as worrisome? Or is it their neighbor fred who is always complaining about their dog that is feeding me this intel?And why am I sure a defensive strategy would fail? In many situations, defenders have a significant tactical advantage.You are introducing unknowns and when there are unknowns you do risk assessments. And then the details start to matter.I already told you that I value the lives of my family over the lives of anyone hostile to us. When I have a binary decision, that's how I'd roll. But.. when there is uncertainty, and lives are on the line, I don't take actions that guarantee a loss of life when the possibility of no loss of life still exists.
As I watch this...Pro's opening is strong, the definition (which I didn't know) shifted my view significantly, though I have concerns, I'm agreeing with Pro.Con turns me pretty quickly though. When you start a war you guarantee the loss of life. (which both agree is our measure) You ensure loss of life, not preserve it. So I'm now on Con.Pro tries to turn this, but I'm not sure how. His case seems to be that you must attack first, to gain an advantage in a conflict you believe will happen regardless. So I'm looking for Pro to tell me how less lives are lost by a first strike strategy while taking into account that there could possibly have been no war at all.Con Extends... and asks, "show me when first strike wins the war"Pro says there is no clear case where it guarantees a win but uses revolutionary war. (But did it save lives?) I feel like Pro really isn't using lives as a criteria, the way he argues, winning war is the value he's advancing. Pro is characterizing defense as just waiting to die, Con clearly explained that is not the case.Con explains how defense works. He explains how his side has the option for better outcomes. Rebuts rev war situation as not a war action but a specific battle. Argues most wars are asymetrical, thus first attacks not likely to matter. The weaker power should always hope for peace. Stronger nation has little risk to wait.Pro seems to have forgotten the measure they both talked about, lives... He's arguing for ome moral principle that we haven't defined. If he's using another moral principle, I want to hear it explicitly stated. Cons example of the cold war is very persuasive for me... I'm pretty sure Ive heard what each has to offer and I'm solidly Con at this point... but I'll keep listening to see if Pro has a strong turn that hooks me.Pro's argument would be a lot more persuasive, if there were wars in which the attacker didn't loose lives of any of its citizens. So far as I know, that has never happened. When you go to war, you loose lives, guaranteed.
BTW: I think if Pro had more carefully framed his side as arguing that a nation should do everything it can to survive and win any conflict, that would be easier ground to defend. Protecting its citizens feeds into any anti-war argument. However, if the survival of the nation itself is the value, then ensuring that you could win a war is worth the risk of sparking a war.
@sigfried Thanks for your analysis. My intention was to argue that in the resolution is making the probable assumption of war - where an attack is imminent. There's two situations - where an imminent attack is a farce, and nothing happens. Or when they're about to attack, and waiting is just you sacrificing your citizens pre-war. I was arguing that the latter is more probable, since nations are unlikely to just place their army on the border with 0 intention of aggression. If it's more probable that imminence is a total decoy and they're screwing with us, then Michael should win, since preemption is extra harmful. I was simply arguing that imminence = likely war, meaning that the question is simply do we be attacked first, or do we attack. Attacking first = advantage because a) we're not just watching ourselves be slaughter and b) we have the upper hand and are more likely to end it quickly (see Israel). I have a lot of respect for your judgment and appreciate your methodical thought - it appears like I didn't communicate the impact calculus clearly enough, and that's on me.
@sigfried This is a good summation of the round. Thanks for watching and commenting mate.
@lewisoflime I think I understood that. You were very clear. I don't believe that we are just accepting slaughter by allowing the enemy to make the first attack. Wars are almost never decided by a single battle or action. If you attack, then you will be attacked in return. You citizens will still die. Indeed you guarantee they will die by attacking, as where if you don't, there is a chance they will all live if no attack comes after all.You would have to persuade me that attacking first shortens a war enough that significantly fewer people die in the war than if you were attacked first. I don't think that is easy to do with me (others might feel that is more realistic). You often talked about winning a war, but even when you win a war, you lose many lives. A short war could still cost a great many lives (though likely less I think). Keep in mind, I have very strong personal feelings about war. So I am biased on the topic. I was surprised by your OP as it really had me on your side. But Con's arguments are essentially my own on the topic, so that makes them very persuasive in weight. It's not that you didn't have responses at all times, it's just that they didn't weigh well for me against the arguments you responded to.I think there is a chance you could get me with different framing. Also a slim chance that if you could define the likelihood of war in the description to something like 99% sure we will be attacked at any moment, then I could see it. If war is certain, then attacking first makes more sense, people will die for sure, why not take an advantage. But Con worked hard to say the framework was that there was a chance for peace through arguing for a pragmatic real-world frame, in which we never really know that war is that certain. There are too many examples of this not being true.
"Preemptive strike, or take a vacation, sit back, and drink pina coladas."Sheesh this debate is straight fire.
My vote *LITERALLY* tied this debate. Possibly one of the best ones. I voted Con on Michael's Cold War point. I think that's the most powerful point here, on the negation of saving lives through preemption. Michael illustrates very well that Joe 100% ensures war, where it might not always be assured.
This was a really great debate and a worthy final round, which is to be expected from you two. You’re probably the top 2 debaters on Qallout so it’s always a pleasure to watch your rounds.There are a few key arguments I want to point to that led me to a vote.1. The value of human life. This is a great value, but it has a big weakness for the pro. Con is absolutely right that if you preemptively strike, even if it appears that your enemy’s attack was imminent, you have guaranteed warfare and the loss of human life, whereas if you do not preemptively strike, the possibility will always remain that the enemy does not attack. If your value is human life, then it doesn’t matter if the lives lost are from your country, your enemies country, or Mars. Human life is human life. This is where the Pro gets into trouble. 2. Pro’s burdenThe only way Pro could win this point would be by showing that the total lives lost through preemptive strikes is lower than the total lives that would be lost otherwise, but he doesn’t show this is the case. Con labels preemptive strikes as a “slight tactical advantage” which ultimately will even out in terms of total lives lost over the course of a war, and Pro is never able to disprove that.This leads to the unspoken assumption that Pro’s case is actually based on but that he didn’t realize until too late.3. The real valueThe reason a nation would be inclined to preemptively strike an enemy in the face of an imminent threat, is not because of a universal value of human life. It’s because they necessarily value their OWN people’s lives more than the lives of their enemies. I think Pro started to realize this near the end of his time, but due to his own value and not noticing it toward the end, it was too little too late for me.A government should have it’s first obligation toward it’s own citizens, so when Con says we should just wait while an enemy nation launches a nuke at San Francisco, that’s a pretty irresponsible policy for a government to advocate. Of course, it’s also the right policy if we’re asking about “total human lives” rather than asking about “how can our government protect our people the best.”Overall, I think Pro’s case could have been less general in nature, and more focused toward the real value he’s advocating, which would be National Defense or Security. I also think there was an opportunity to label Con’s perspective as outdated. Con keeps talking about an invading army at the border, but that’s becoming increasingly less realistic with modern technology. Today, if we stand by and wait for the first strike to hit us, we’re looking at a Nuclear Bomb over Los Angeles, and the devastation that would cause to civilians would be unfathomable. If the calculus is between letting millions of our civilians be killed, or preemptively striking an enemy nation to take out their missile launch capabilities, there probably is a moral justification for the strike. But Pro’s value of human life is the difference maker here. If we preemptively strike, we 100% guarantee the loss of human life, whereas if we wait, there is possibility that no war will happen.Of course, if we wait, we risk our own citizens being murdered by missiles we potentially could have stopped with a preemptive strike. But that strike still would guarantee the loss of life, and would merely change who the first victims will be. While it may be preferable for the enemy’s people to die rather than your own, that doesn’t factor into the calculus for this round, because a value of human life treats all life equally, without preference to your home nation. So on the value of human life, I vote con.
good job both of you ;)
Pro made the argument about acting when someone is charging with a knife, thats cons point, the guy charging with a knife is the preemptive attacker, you are not being preemptive when reacting to an attack. you are being reactive.
@daniel_jongeward It's a good argument! Just to be clear, there's overlap between "reaction" and preemption. In other words, reacting AFTER you've been hit is not preemption, since you didn't hit first. But reacting to an imminent attack certainly is preemption - preemption responds "in the face of" an imminent attack. I rewatched the debate and noticed I could've been a little clearer there, and I think Michael makes an awesome argument on it. Good observation!
@lewisoflime morally is another interesting issue. Justifying a preemptive attack to the people is almost always done from a defensive prespective. But both sides can't play defense all the time otherwise there would be no preemptive attacks. We tend to always point to who shot first as the less moral in war, like that somehow justifies going to war. But every single side tends to play the "in defense of the people" card to justify a preemptive strike. I think under the surface war is a " because I can" not a "because I should" like with all morals, they are subjective on the circumstances. But I don't think protecting your citizens by killing an enemy country citizens is protecting your citizens, war in short is the slaughtering of the gullible, the gullible who think just because they were born as a specific place they owed that place and the government of that place anything, even so high as their servitude and lives. I remain unconvinced that war itself can even be moral much less pre-emptive strikes.
@metant3 has a great point about the Cold War. There was even a Soviet Naval Officer who chose not launch Soviet weapons, even though he was directly contradicting his orders, and the "imminent" threat that Soviet intelligence had already found. But as it turned out, the intelligence was a false alarm. Had he launched the weapons, all out Nuclear War would have been begun. But by him choosing not to launch the weapons, the Cold War did not start, and millions of lives were saved.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanislav_Petrov
I feel like the value of human life made it very difficult on the aff especially after cons argument on an assurance of lives lost with preemptive strikes. I didn't see an adequate response to that from aff either. Con get's the edge mainly on that argument due to the res being a value res.